PCBs help disabled youngsters to make music

31 March 2015

Soundbeam, a 'touch free' device which translates body movement into music, turned to Newbury Electronics when they needed PCBs for their product.

Cindy Crossland, of Soundbeam explains the boards have a colour membrane with the switch number attached to it. The switches that use the PCB's are triggered by touch and are part of the Soundbeam kit that is sold with the touch free sensors. The sensors are ultrasonic; they detect movement however small and translate this into music and sound. The switches can operate over a distance of 20m and are colourful, versatile, tactile and most importantly sensitive to the stimuli produced by the musician.

They needed well engineered and thin PCBs for this project and Newbury Electronics worked closely to ensure both the high quality of the design and manufacture. They have not been disappointed and the PCBs from Newbury Electronics have proved to be very reliable. Being able to get this expertise and the highest production standards from a UK based company was also an added bonus for Soundbeam, who wherever possible are keen to support UK businesses.

Newbury Electronics Managing Director, Philip King, said this is just another exciting example of how PCBs that use the latest electronic developments and modern production techniques can help realise wonderfully creative machines and solutions that would have been unthinkable only 50 years ago, when they first started to manufacture these boards. 

Soundbeam has just been awarded Best SEN Resource in the 2015 Music Teachers Awards for Excellence ('Best SEN Resource 2015') and has already received widespread recognition for the difference it can make to those with disabilities. More recently, a number of galleries and performance organisations have started to use Soundbeam which adds an exhilarating live and improvisatory element to electronic sound and vision and encourages choreographers, composers, dancers, musicians and technicians to collaborate in new ways.

Future development of the product is planned and Newbury Electronics will continue to provide its engineering skills and guidance as and when appropriate.

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